More Mother-Daughter Moments
Yesterday morning, Georgia had an appointment at Peachtree Dermatology to check the little birthmark on her ankle that appeared to have changed slightly. She'd been home since Sunday and was heading back to her father's, so we scheduled it early to get her on the road. Monday night, she asked if I was going with her to the doctor. I had assumed that, her being 18 and all, she wouldn't want me there, so I had NOT planned to go. I realize now how stupid that was. Oh, I was going, all right. The question wasn't really a question anyway. "What if I have cancer?" she said, all annoyed, "Would you make me hear that by myself?"
Egads, that had ALSO not occurred to me, which isn't like me at all. When they first pulled the girl from my guts and whisked her away to work on her sub-par lungs, I just knew she was dead; when they put her on a heart monitor the first few weeks because they suspected tachycardia, I imagined the long list of transplant recipients we'd be stuck behind; when she had to have tubes put in her ears when she was eight, I researched schools for the deaf; and when, year before last, she had to have an MRI because one eye kept dilating more than the other, I had a near-nervous-breakdown--so sure was I that it was a tumor. This time, though, I didn't consider the possibilities. Chalk it up to my medication.
Or the new puppy.
I followed George to the Borghese building on Northside drive, planning to go straight to work after. I take Fay to school with me, you know, so I was pretty jammed up about having to leave her in the car in the parking garage (It was nice and cool--it wasn't that). I knew she'd be upset and cry the whole time, which was hard for me to bear. I put her in her carrier, locked the door and informed the garage monitor that the red Beetle over there had a tiny puppy in it that might whine a lot but not to let anyone NEAR my car--please, thank you.
Then George and I went in and sat in the lovely waiting room filled with Buckhead's Botoxed and Restylaned:
TR: Maybe I should go wait in the car with Fay until they take you back. You can call me when they do.
TR: I know she's really nervous.
George: I'm nervous.
TR: Well, she's my little baby.
George: I'm your baby.
(They called her name and a pretty lady wearing pink scrubs and with a flawless complexion led us to an exam room. It wasn't long before Laurel, the PA, came in. She looked about 28 the first time I saw her a few years ago, and she looks younger each time. Georgia wasn't too thrilled to hear a 14-year-old tell her she needed to CUT OUT the spot. Suddenly, Georgia was 3. Everyone in the room was getting younger but me.)
George: You've GOT to be kidding. CUT IT OUT?
Laurel: It will only take a minute. You'll have one little stitch.
Laurel: We'll numb the area first.
George: And how will you do THAT?
TR: George, it's just a little shot. No big deal.
Laurel: I'm going to go get everything ready.
George: Don't expect me to be here when you get back.
TR (thinking about Fay in the car): C'mon, George. This is nothing. You want to see my C-section scar?
Laurel (thinking fast): We can put a numbing cream on the area first. Then you won't even feel the shot.
TR: Hey, y'all never did that for me!
George: (No words, glaring)
Laurel: We'll put the cream on, I'll see the next patient while it takes effect, and you can think about it.
TR: Um, there's not going to be any thinking about it. (My puppy's in the car.) Georgia, now, grow up. After this, you'll never have to worry about that birthmark again.
George: I like my birthmark.
TR: Feel your loss, embrace the pain, cry for a week, get on with your life.
(With that, Laurel and co. exited, leaving Georgia with a blob of gel on her ankle.)
George: I can't fucking believe this. I never imagined this would happen.
TR: What did you think they were going to do?
George: Tell me it was fine.
TR: You knew it wasn't fine. You're the one who noticed the change.
George: YOU KNEW! You knew they were going to do this, didn't you?
TR: No, I didn't! But I should have. It makes sense. (Remember, I hadn't thought about it at all.)
George: You're lying. You did know.
TR: Not so. Here, let me take your picture with my phone so I can blog about this.
George: I HATE YOU!
(Laurel and Pink enter before she has a chance to throttle me.)
Laurel (noting tears in Georgia's eyes): I have an idea. Let's go across the hall. We have a machine that blows ice-cold air, which will numb the area even more. Trust me--you won't feel anything.
(Now we have numbing cream and numbing air so she won't feel the numbing shot that keeps her from feeling the actual procedure. I'm taking notes for next time they need to cut on me.
I held my big ol' daughter so she couldn't see as Laurel used what looked like a miniature post hole digger to punch around the spot, then used a scalpel to slice it off, then gracefully stitched and knotted the wound. It was all pretty fascinating, but I wished she would stop being so artistic so I could get back to the car.)
Laurel: All done. See?
George: I think I'm going to throw up. (Looking at me) I still hate you.
TR: Let's go. Fay's waiting.